Vet Works On Dream at Higher Ground

I’ve wanted to be a cop ever since I was in high school. Going to be a police officer with the nation on edge, that’s tough. But, if I can deal with being in a homeless shelter I can deal with being a police officer. I don’t want to get up in the morning doing the same thing day in and day out; I don’t want to lose touch with reality.

Brice, 36

Brice is doing everything right.

The 36-year-old is working hard, studying and planning for the future. He spends his nights sleeping in the Pay-for-Stay Shelter at Higher Ground Minneapolis. He fills his days working toward achieving a dream.

With your help, he has made great strides toward that dream.

“Catholic Charities has provided a place for me to lay my head every night, has given me good food, a computer lab where I can get my schoolwork done and a place where I can shower and shave every night,” he said.

Brice recently graduated from Minneapolis Community and Technical College where he studied Criminal Justice Studies and Law Enforcement. This fall, his next journey begins at Metropolitan State University, where he will complete the next stage of his journey to become a police officer.

“I’ve wanted to be a cop ever since I was in high school. Going to be a police officer with the nation on edge, that’s tough. But, if I can deal with being in a homeless shelter I can deal with being a police officer. I don’t want to get up in the morning doing the same thing day in and day out; I don’t want to lose touch with reality.”

Police blues won’t be his first uniform; Brice spent six years in the U.S. Navy and he worked for a security firm in downtown Minneapolis for several years. When he lost his job, he took the opportunity to go to school and finally achieve his goal.

“When I started in security about 10 years ago, I kind of looked down on the less fortunate. I didn’t think I’d ever stay in a shelter,” he said.

Staying at Higher Ground has provided Brice with a new understanding of the myriad circumstances that bring individuals to shelters such as job loss, divorce and lack of affordable housing. Higher Ground isn’t a last resort for Brice, it’s the vital resource that provides a home base as he completes his college degree.

“Higher Ground has been so great for me,” he said. “They’re strict when they have to be, but they work with you. If you stay humble, you’ll get far. Catholic Charities and Higher Ground will help me achieve financial stability.”

Brice is making smart decisions, being thoughtful about his choices to ensure a stable financial future.

“I don’t want to worry about being broke ever again. I want to know my bills are paid and I have clothes on my back and food to eat. I don’t want to worry about asking for assistance ever again,” he said. “I’m not trying to get rich, but I’m definitely not going to have to ask anyone for help ever again.”

The work is hard now, and there are few luxuries in his life, but Brice said the payoff will be worth the effort. The man who grew up in southeast Minneapolis said he looks forward to serving this community, maybe even patrolling the streets of Saint Paul.”

“I know I’m going to be a good cop,” he said. “I try to be objective. I don’t like to take sides on anything. Before I judge someone, I try to get to know them first.”

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